Dar Al Mada, Iraq, has recently released a new book entitled ‘Arabs between Light and Darkness’ by Hashem Saleh.
“The human experience widens with exploration trips and scientific expeditions. I was lucky I had the chance to live in France for years and acquire more knowledge. Otherwise, my thought would have remained limited to Arabic language, Syria, and the Arab world. This is not simple, but also not sufficient, and this is a well-known fact by all those who lived in Europe, studied in its institutes and universities, and enjoyed its libraries and freedoms. All the supporters of the Arabic renaissance lived this experience including Rifa'a al-Tahtawi, Ahmed Lotfi al-Sayed, Taha Hussein, Michael Naimy, and Mohammad Mandour. Arabs need something as important as food and water: it’s reading to widen their horizons. They should distance themselves from theology and old schools; they should read tens, maybe hundreds or thousands of books to promote their knowledge. All those who lived in the west know what I am talking about.
"The first thing that caught my attention when I arrived in France was the large number of readers, especially women who read in public places. The entire French people read and educate themselves; they managed to end illiteracy. However, our Arabic people still suffer from high, horrifying rates of illiteracy, especially among women. How can you encourage a nation to read while half of it, or even more, is still unable to read? First, we should teach them how to read and write, and then encourage them to read for culture and fun,” the writer said in the introduction.